NEW YORK (AP) Maikel Franco and the Philadelphia Phillies ended a couple of aggravating streaks. For the New York Mets, the frustration might just be starting.
Franco homered and doubled while breaking the longest hitless streak of his big league career, and the Phillies capitalized on an error by untested first baseman Jay Bruce to beat the short-handed Mets 6-4 Thursday night.
Philadelphia took two of three at Citi Field after losing six straight series to the Mets.
”It sure is nice to win a series here again, especially against the Mets. It’s always nice to win a series but against these guys it was special, as much as they beat us up over the last year,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.
New York slugger Yoenis Cespedes limped off in the fifth inning with a pain in his left hamstring and said he might be out a few days. The Mets, beset by major injuries all last season, went into the game minus banged-up first baseman Lucas Duda, catcher Travis d’Arnaud and infielder Wilmer Flores.
”Our training room is starting to fill up again, and we don’t need that,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Mets closer Jeurys Familia struck out two and walked two in a hitless ninth inning of his season debut after serving a 15-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. The home crowd cheered as he jogged in from the bullpen – Familia led the majors with a team-record 51 saves last year.
”Rusty, to say the least,” Collins said.
”I think I got a little bit excited,” Familia said.
Aaron Nola (2-0) labored through five innings, and Hector Neris earned his first save this season. Noah Syndergaard (1-1) struck out 10 in seven innings.
Franco lined an RBI double over Cespedes in the third. That ended a 0-for-22 skid for the cleanup hitter, now in his third full big league season.
”I just go out there and tell myself I want to get better,” Franco said.
As for his slump, ”It happens sometimes,” he said. ”I would like to say no, but it happens sometimes.”
In the eighth, Franco hit the first pitch from reliever Fernando Salas barely over the wall in left-center.
Philadelphia took a 3-0 lead in the second, helped by Bruce’s misplay.
After Tommy Joseph grounded an RBI double just past the diving Bruce, Freddy Galvis hit a grounder wide of first base.
Bruce fielded it cleanly, then hesitated making an underhanded throw. Instead of flipping the ball to either Syndergaard or second baseman Neil Walker covering the bag, he tossed it between them and it rolled away. After the inning, Collins talked with Bruce in the dugout.
This was the 1,285th game in the majors for Bruce, normally an outfielder. But it was only his fourth time at first base and first since 2014 with Cincinnati – and his third error at the position. The Mets put him there because of their injuries.
”It’s the nuances of the game you can’t really practice,” Bruce said. ”This is the epitome of learning on the job.”
Bruce showed his inexperience at the spot even before the first pitch. While throwing grounders to his infielders before the top of the first, he twice stopped when he wasn’t sure who got the next one.
Neil Walker hit a three-run homer in the third, closing the Mets to 5-4.
Syndergaard fanned Cesar Hernandez, Daniel Nava and Odubel Herrera in the first, starting out with 11 straight strikes. After having a blister problem on opening day, Syndergaard left his last start with a cracked fingernail. He brought the 100 mph heat this time with his split-fingernail fastball.
Phillies: OF Michael Saunders was feeling ill and scratched from the lineup. He flied out as a pinch hitter. … Reliever Pat Neshek (paternity list) and his wife had a baby girl. He could rejoin the team Friday.
Mets: Collins said he didn’t have any definitive word on how long Duda (hyperextended left elbow), Flores (infection) and d’Arnaud (bruised right wrist) would be out.
Phillies: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (2-0, 0.82) and the Phils host Bartolo Colon (1-1, 4.24) and Atlanta.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (0-0, 1.89) and the Mets welcome NL East-leading Washington and RHP Tanner Roark (2-0, 3.50).